Rare British bikes highlight Bonhams motorcycle sale

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show-quality 1938 Bough Superior SS100 is among the British bikes at auction | Bonhams photos
 show-quality 1938 Bough Superior SS100 is among the British bikes at auction | Bonhams photos
A show-quality 1938 Bough Superior SS100 is among the British bikes at auction | Bonhams photos

Bonhams holds its fifth annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction on January 8 at Bally’s Hotel & Casino, offering around 230 American, Japanese and European two-wheelers as well as a selection of vintage motorcycle posters, parts and collector’s items.

The headliner is a group of rare British bikes from the collection of Vincent motorcycle expert Herb Harris of Texas, including such special machines as the 1946 Vincent HRD 1X Prototype Series B V-twin – the first post-war Vincent made – the 1954 Vincent Black Prince Prototype, a bright-red 1949 Vincent Rapide C with matching Blacknell Bullet sidecar, plus classic motorcycles from BSA, Matchless and AJS.

A classic 1948 Indian Chief will be offered in Vegas
A classic 1948 Indian Chief will be offered in Vegas

The Harris collection also features a dozen cutaway show engines from English manufacturers BSA, Ariel, Matchless, Norton, Sunbeam and Triumph. There also are two complete BSA motorcycles that have been sectioned to show their inner workings.

A number of other premium motorcycles from England will be auctioned, including a spectacular and concours-winning 1938 Bough Superior SS100 and a 1938 Rudge Special 500, along with 1950-70s Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs that are ready to ride.

Italian bikes are well-represented, including those coming from the Jack Silverman Museum Racing Collection of Ducati motorcycles. Competition bikes include a 1995 Ducati Supermono from Sound of Singles road racing and a 1957 F.B. Mondial 250cc Bialbero GP raced by Mike Hailwood.

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The Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles at auction date to the early days of motorcycling, and include a selection of restored vintage models from a private collection.

There also will be a few celebrity bikes, such as those once owned by Easy Rider co-stars Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

For more information about the Bonhams motorcycle auction, see Bonhams.com.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.